Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.6.9 , New Vrindavan , 1976-06-25
Pradyumna: [leads chanting] [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat]
sneha-pāśair dṛḍhair baddham
Translation = [04:36] "What person too attached to household life due to being unable to control his senses can liberate himself? An attached householder is bound very strongly by ropes of affection for his family [wife, children and other relatives]."
sneha-pāśair dṛḍhair baddham
Actually, this material life is our bondage. It may be... Just like gold handcuff or iron handcuff. So handcuff is bondage; either it is made of gold or iron, it doesn't matter. So we are in this material world handcuffed, imprisoned. Our aim of life is how to get out of this material bondage, or prison house. Prahlāda Mahārāja, in another place, when he was asked by his father what is the best education he had received from his teachers, so father asked him to explain. So the son, Prahlāda Mahārāja, said that hitvātma-ghātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta [SB 7.5.5]. This is the best thing he has learned. What is that? Hitvātma-ghāṭam gṛham andha-kūpam. Gṛha, this family life, is called gṛham andha-kūpam. Just like a man fallen in the dark well, so it is sure death, ātma-ghātam. Unless we are very cautious, this gṛha-andha kūpam, this family life, is very dangerous for spiritual advancement. Therefore, according to Vedic system, it is very regulated. First of all one is trained up as a brahmacārī, not to be attached in sex life. That is brahmacārī, celibacy. Just like these boys, these children, if we train them how to remain in celibacy... They can be trained up. The first training is brahmacārī. To remain in the gurukula... They are innocent. As you train them, they will be trained up.
So in the beginning of life to train the children as brahmacārīs is essential. The fact is that one may not be attached to sex life. Sex life only allowed to beget children. That's all.
pun-nāma trāyate iti
These are the Vedic injunction. Bhāryā, wife, is accepted putrāyate, only for having good children. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi [Bg. 7.11] = "Lusty sex life is, when it is not against the religious principle, that sex life I am," Kṛṣṇa says. Dharmāviruddho. So dharmāviruddho, or which is not against religious principles. In this way you will find, according to Vedic system, the sex life is practically denied. But because we are now in the conditioned state, it is very difficult to completely deny sex life, there is regulative principle. First of all training = no sex life. If you can remain without sex life, brahmacārī, it is very good. But if you cannot, then get yourself married, live with wife, but have sex only for progeny, not for sense enjoyment. Therefore even one is married, if he's sticking to one wife and the wife is sticking to one man---that is real married life. Then the husband is also called brahmacārī, even though he's a gṛhastha, and the wife is called chaste.
So this is human civilization, gṛhastha. That also allowed only for a few years. Not few years. Formerly, as we have calculated that people used to live for hundred years, so twenty-four years, twenty-five years, brahmacārī; twenty-five years, gṛhastha; twenty-five years, vānaprastha; and last twenty-five years, sannyāsa. Ultimately sannyāsī, training. So in these four āśramas, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa, in three āśramas there is no sex life = brahmacārī, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. Only gṛhastha allowed sex life. That is also restricted only for begetting children. So in the Vedic civilization sex life is actually denied. Only in gṛhastha life, with the restriction. Not that whenever I like. No. That is bondage. So long we'll be attached to sex life, then we'll have to accept this material body. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tucchaṁ kaṇḍūyanena karayor iva duḥkha-duḥkham [SB 7.9.45]. We should remember this. But what will be the effect unless we are trained up? People are not educated what is the value of life, how life should be conducted, what is the aim of life. But everything can be done. It is no difficulty. Just like a man practicing to lift... I think everyone, you know, if he takes on his back one small calf, it grows; when the calf becomes a very big bull one can lift. This is practice. But all of a sudden, if you want to lift one big bull on your shoulder, that is not possible. But if you practice to take the little calf from the very beginning, it grows and your strength grows. It grows... This is gradual process. So the human form of life, the whole training is... That is Vedic civilization, how to avoid sex life. That is liberation. If I have got desire for sex life some way or other, then I will have to take birth again in this material world to satisfy.
So the training should be how to give up this idea. And it is possible. If training is there, then it is possible. That is the instruction of Prahlāda Mahārāja = kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1]. From the very beginning, children should be trained up in this line. That is the responsibility actually, father, mother's affection. But the father, mother do not know what is the aim of life. Neither they are trained up how they can train up their children. But here is the prescription how to train up. So in this age, although it is very difficult task, at least if we teach our children to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, then everything is possible. That is the facility of this age. He'll be gradually trained up to the highest perfection. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's benediction is there = ihā haite sarva siddhi haibe tomara [Caitanya-bhāgavata Madhya 23.78]. Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you'll get all perfection of life. So either... Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings, gṛhe vā vanete thāke, 'hā gaurāṅga' bole dāke. So don't be afraid that "Because we are in this age we cannot be trained up; it is very difficult." But we can very easily chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. That is a special concession of this age. Just like these children were dancing and chanting. And it is the duty of the parents to train the children in such a way they get liberty in this very life. Father, mother, they should think of their innocent children, that "This boy, this child, has come to us. Now let us train him in such a way that he will get liberty, no more birth and death." This is real responsibility of father and mother. Pitā na sa syāj jananī na sa syāt, guru... [SB 5.5.18]. Everyone's duty should be how to give relief the living entities from these clutches of birth and death. That is ideal civilization.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says if you don't train up in the beginning, then ko gṛheṣu pumān saktam ātmānam ajitendriyaḥ. Ātmānam ajitendriyaḥ, the whole training is to control the senses, and the most powerful sense is the tongue. Sense control begins from the tongue. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given you the song, tār madhye jihvā ati lobhamoy sudurmati. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives a description that śarīra avidyā-jāla joḍendriya tāhe kāl. This body is the encagement. We are in the prison of this material world. How we are imprisoned? We have been given a material body. This is imprisonment. Śarīra avidyā-jāl. And we are very happy to keep this body very comfortably without knowing the aim of life. That is avidyā-jāl, a network of ignorance. Śarīra avidyā-jāl, and the senses are our greatest enemies. Unless we control the senses, we are put into this avidyā-jāl, network of... And out of all the senses, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, tā'ra madhye jihvā---jihvā means tongue---jihvā ati, lobhamoy sudurmati. It is very greedy. Jihvā, to control the tongue... To control the senses means begin with the controlling the tongue. That is also very difficult job. So therefore to control the tongue, best thing is to take kṛṣṇa-prasādam. First of all, offer to Kṛṣṇa and then take. Tā'ra madhye jihvā ati, lobhamoy sudurmati tā'ke jetā koṭhina soṁsāre. Kṛṣṇa baḍo-doyāmoy karibāre jihvā jay. At least if we take it as a vow that "I shall not eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa," that will help us. Kṛṣṇa baḍo-doyāmoy, karibāre jihvā jay svaprasād ānna dilā bhāi.
So with the tongue begins spiritual life. If we restrict our tongue not to talk uselessly, simply talk of Kṛṣṇa or chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, read Kṛṣṇa books, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and when you are hungry, take kṛṣṇa-prasādam, then it will be possible, you can control the tongue. And if you can control the tongue, then you can control other senses very easily. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given a very easy formula, tā'ra madhye jihvā ati, lobhamoy sudurmati tā'ke jetā koṭhina soṁsāre, kṛṣṇa baḍo-doyāmoy, kori... Kṛṣṇa is so kind that from Vaikuṇṭha He has come here in this remote village of America---He's so kind---just to accept your service. Don't think that "Here is a doll." No. Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, on the request of devotee, He has come. You should always remember this, that "Here is Kṛṣṇa, personally present." Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu... It requires only advanced sense. When He saw Jagannātha at Purī temple, He immediately fainted = "Here is My Lord." So it is only advanced understanding. But preliminary understanding is that "Here is Kṛṣṇa." Don't think that it is a doll. Even if you think it is doll, but Kṛṣṇa has come to you in the form of doll so that you can see. Otherwise, Kṛṣṇa is always present everywhere. We cannot see. Or you can handle. Kṛṣṇa is everything. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He has come here to be seen by you, to be touched by you, to be dressed by you, to be decorated by you, to accept whatever you nicely offer with bhakti. Kṛṣṇa is not hungry, or Kṛṣṇa has no food at His Vaikuṇṭha? No. He has got. He is supplying everyone food. So He has got everything. We should always remember that He has kindly come for our benefit, so let us be always cautious and very respectful and offering the nicest prasādam, prepared with great attention. In this way, if we practice, then our life becomes very successful. Otherwise, we shall be very much attached, because we are ajitendriya; we cannot control our senses. Very difficult. But if you take kṛṣṇa-prasādam, although apparently we are greedy, but on account of taking kṛṣṇa-prasādam, it is neutralized. Our greediness, by taking kṛṣṇa-prasādam, it is neutralized.
Sneha-pāśair. This sneha-pāśa, sneha is there. Sneha means affection. Everyone got affection. The cats and dogs, they have got also affection. But the affection is wrongly placed. We are affectionate to the skin, to this body. So this is wrong affection. Real affection is to the soul. That we do not know. We have no information. We are loving our child, that is very good, but not the soul, but the body. If someway or other the child is dead or my father is dead, we cry, "Father has gone away." Why father has gone away? The body which you loved, that is lying there. So we do not know whom to love. So if we love actually, let us love the soul. How the soul... Love..., to love means for benefit. That is real love. I love you for your benefit; you love me for my benefit. If I so-called love you for my benefit, that is lust. So in this material world there cannot be love. It is not possible. Because everyone loves, so-called love, he loves his sense gratification. A young boy loves a young woman for his sense gratification, not for her sense gratification. Similarly she also. So in this material, this cheating is going on. I want to satisfy my lusty desires, but it is going on in the name of love. There cannot be any love in this material world, because love is between spirit and spirit. But if we try to love the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa, then we shall understand how our love can be spread in the spiritual world. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām.
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu...
When we come to the spiritual platform, then actual love begins. Mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām.
That love begins... If we can love Kṛṣṇa, then, through Kṛṣṇa's love, we can expand our love for everyone. Yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ [SB 4.31.14]. Just like watering the root of the tree, the energy is expanded to the leaves, to the flowers, to the branches, similarly, if we want to love... Everyone... Just like we are coming, some patriot. Nobody loves nobody; that is all professional business. If we actually love Kṛṣṇa, then we can expand our love = patriotism, socialism, this "ism," that..., nationalism. Just like we are trying to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world because on account of love. Someway or other, we have come in contact with Kṛṣṇa. We are understanding that these people are in māyā, or in ignorance; they do not know how to become happy. So our little attempt is, "Let them become Kṛṣṇa conscious." This is out of love. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Everyone is suffering for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, therefore we are taking so much trouble. This is at least one side, that Kṛṣṇa wants them to deliver, and if we work on behalf of Kṛṣṇa, that is also love. We love Kṛṣṇa.
So we have got everything in writing, in books, in instruction. Our duty is to take them rightly and utilize it properly, advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sneha-pāśair. Otherwise we shall be on a platform of false love. The platform of false love we know = today one pair is married, but because the love is on the false platform, the next day there is divorce. That is not love. That kind of love has no meaning; that kind of affection has no meaning. It is simply bondage. So try to... Our aim is how to become free from this material bondage and real sneha, real affection, real love should be spread. And that can be done through Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise, it is all false. Sneha-pāśair dṛḍhair baddham utsaheta.
This māyā is so strong that we are taking this false thing as reality. It is very difficult to give it up. That is explained by Kṛṣṇa:
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
This is the only religion. If we become pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then my love will be extended to everyone. Not only my society, but to everyone. It is not that "This is my children; that is other's children." All children. All human being. Not my countrymen---all other countrymen. Not only human being, but even animals also. That is sneha. It is not that "I am safe, and let the animals be killed in the slaughterhouse." No, that is not love. Love means for everyone. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Equality to all living entities. That is real love. That is real concern, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A lover of Kṛṣṇa will hesitate to kill even one ant. You know the story, Mṛgāri. That is love. Because one has got... Just like this child. If I like I can kill him, there is no difficulty. But does it mean that I shall kill him? No. Similarly a small ant, anyone can kill. No. Here is a living entity, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, samaḥ sarveṣu---he should not be unnecessarily killed. We should be careful, not that "Trample over the ants and let them be killed." No. Everything should be carefully done. Of course, we cannot stop this, but we should be careful, and if it is done, then if we remain Kṛṣṇa conscious, Kṛṣṇa will excuse. Yajñārthe karmaṇo 'nyatra [Bg. 3.9]. Therefore the business should be, if we walk at all, we shall walk for Kṛṣṇa. Then if some ant is killed---not knowingly; unknowingly---then we are untouched by these sinful activities. Otherwise, we are immediately noted down, "Here is a man has killed one, he has..." The nature's law is so minute. Every minute, the account is stepped[?]. But if you remain in the business of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then there is excuse. Otherwise, everyone is becoming obliged. If I take from you one cent, I have to pay you with four cent, with interest, compound interest. This is the law. We are... Just like taking money from others. Unless we spend it for Kṛṣṇa, then we shall be obliged to return again.
nāyam ṛṣīṇāṁ kiñkara rājan
sarvātmanā ye śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
We have got so many obligation = devarṣi, to the demigods, to the saintly great sages, ṛṣis. Because ṛṣis are giving us... Just like Vyāsadeva has given us this literature. So we are obliged to him; we are indebted to him. We are indebted to the demigods. The sun is giving sunshine, the moon is giving at night shine, and the cloud, Indra, is giving us water. So we are all indebted. Devarṣi-bhūta... Therefore there are so many different types of yajñas mentioned in the Vedic literature. But if you perform one yajña, saṅkīrtana-yajña, then you become clear from everyone's debt. Gato mukundam śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyam. Then we are freed from all debts. So in this way we have to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement very carefully, and the simple process is chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda! [end]